“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”
(Please read Judges 6:13)
“Why then has all this happened to us?” Gideon was puzzled because the angel had said, “The Lord is with you,” when things appeared to be so bad for him and his people. God had delivered Israel into the hands of the Midianites for seven years, and many Israelites were even living in caves. The enemy would often destroy their crops and kill their animals. So when this encounter took place Gideon was threshing wheat in hopes of saving it from the Midianites.
Gideon was not alone in his puzzlement about bad things happening if the Lord was really with them. Similar questions have been asked through the ages. Think of Job and his troubles, of Jesus on the cross, and even of yourself and your own questions.
Sometimes sin is the cause of our distresses, as it was in Gideon’s time. But neither Job’s troubles nor Jesus’ death were caused by their sin, and many times ours are not.
We cannot know everything about God’s purposes in connection with our hardships. If we did, we would know as much as God himself, and that’s impossible. But sometimes troubles may turn out to be blessings in disguise, as was true in the case of Joseph (see Genesis 45:4-8).
Even in the depth of his suffering, Job wouldn’t dare accuse God of evil, and neither can we. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7, NIV). That’s his promise, and he is unchangeable. So with his help we can tough it out and may even be stronger for the experience.